So you want to be a beekeeper?

may2012068rtrsBeekeeping is easy and fun…and yummy too!
If you are considering starting a hive, here are a few things to consider:
Know your zoning rules– Does your city allow beekeeping? Does your HOA?
Bee Allergies– Is anyone in your family allergic to honeybees?
Neighbors– Are your neighbors allergic or do they have irrational fear?
Time– Beekeeping does not require a lot of time, but do you have time required for honey extraction?
Hives– How many hives can you and your yard accommodate? How many honeybees can your neighbor tolerate?
Research– Learn as much as you can prior to becoming a beekeeper. Learn from classes, other keepers, books, and catalogs.
Once you decide to be a beekeeper:
Order Bees– Order early enough so you can prepare prior to the bees arrival. A good time to receive bees would be in early April. Stick with one manufacturer. Approximately 3,500 bees come in a package. The Queen is kept in a separate box.
Prepare Area– Think about the honeybee’s flight path, sun exposure, hive screening.
Hive Stands– Have sturdy stands at a good working height that is large enough to hold other equipment.
Water– Have at least one water source, more is better or they will be at your neighbors’ swimming pool.
Supers– Pick the size of the super according to how much you can lift, 30, 60, 100 pounds of honey is heavy. Paint, stain, or seal your equipment.
Protection– Have ahead of time a veil, gloves, bee suits, hive tools and smokers.
Organize– Keep records. Have a plan ready before opening your hive.
Reduce– Reduce pesticides, avoid chemicals.
Manage– Familiarize yourself with bee colony operations. Manage for swarm control. Know when to re-queen. Monitor population.